Bernard Quaritch Offers Books and Manuscripts on Food and Drink from the Library of Christopher Hogwood
BERNARD QUARITCH LIMITED has just published a new catalogue of rare and important books and manuscripts on food and drink from the library of the conductor and musician Christopher Hogwood (1941-2014). Music and food were two of the defining life-long passions of Christopher Hogwood, and in his search for authentic ways to perform period music, he found food to be a perfect metaphor for understanding the past through the senses. He even hosted historical post-concert dinners for his musicians, often with dishes based on recipes from the same period as the music previously performed. Hogwood started to collect cook books from the seventeenth century onwards when the holdings of the Cambridge University Library (now holding his music scores and musical library) could not satisfy his appetite for historical recipes.
This collection combines works by celebrity cookery writers of their time (often women making a very decent living from their culinary creations, like Hannah Glasse, Arabella Fairfax, Elizabeth Raffald, Charlotte Mason or Elizabeth Moxon) with spurious editions published on the back of their successes; and books on fantastic creations by nineteenth-century confectioner Frederic Nutt with books written at royal court, and about the gastronomic preferences of royals, e.g. by natural philosopher and courtier Sir Kenelm Digby.
Christopher Hogwood’s collection of culinaria also includes a large number of manuscripts with recipes from early modern Oxford (including very early recorded recipes for New College Pudding from the seventeenth century) to veritable micro-libraries of culinary, cosmetic, medicinal and household recipes in manuscript form, such as two manuscripts from the last quarter of the eighteenth century (Christopher Hogwood’s main musical period) compiled by one Mrs Nicolls.
Together with the hand-selected cookbooks from earlier periods (Hogwood followed the book and auction market very closely while also collecting historical musical instruments and art), this collection provides new insights into not only the history of food, but also Hogwood’s oeuvre and finely tuned understanding of history.